The I-9 Reverification Process: Who and When

by Michael Haberman on August 15, 2011 · 3 comments


I occasionally get questions from clients on what has to be done in the reverification of documents that are used to show that someone has the legal right to work in the United States. So I figured others may have that question as well. So here is some information on the “who and when” of I-9 reverification.

First off you need to understand that U.S.citizens and noncitizen nationals never need reverification, except when they terminate and are then rehired. Do not reverify the following documents:

  • An expired U.S.passport or passport card,
  • an Alien Registration Receipt Card/Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), or
  • a List B document that has expired.

That means that the fact that someone driver’s license has expired does not negate their legal right to work. If you rehire an employee within three years of his or her original hire date and you have previously completed Form I-9 for that employee, you may complete a new Form I-9 or you may be able to rely on the previously completed Form I-9 in certain circumstances. To reverify:

    1. Record the date of rehire.
    2. Record the document title, number, and expiration date (if any) of the document(s) the employee presents.
    3. Sign and date Section 3.
    4. If you are reverifying on a new Form I-9, write the employee’s name in Section 1 and complete Section 3 of the new Form I-9, retaining the new  Form I-9 with the previously completed Form I-9.
    5. You must complete a new Form I-9 if the version of the form you used for the previous verification is no longer valid.

For non-citizen employees when an their employment authorization document expires, you must reverify his or her employment authorization no later than the date employment authorization expires. (This is why it is important to have a tracking method on documents that have expiration dates, excluding those listed above.) You may use Section 3 of Form I-9, or, if Section 3 has already been used for a previous reverification or update, use a new Form I-9. If you use a new Form I-9, write the employee’s name in Section 1, complete Section 3, and retain the new Form I-9 with the original. The employee must present a document that shows current employment authorization, e.g., any document from List A or List C, including an unrestricted Social Security card. If the employee cannot provide you with proof of current employment authorization, you cannot continue to employ that person.

If an employee presents a Form I-551, you should know that Forms I-551 may contain no expiration date, a 10-year expiration date, or a two-year expiration date. Cards that expire in 10 years or not at all are issued to lawful permanent residents with no conditions on their status. Cards that expire in two years are issued to lawful permanent residents with conditions on their status. Conditional residents can lose their status if they fail to remove these conditions. Permanent Resident Cards with either an expiration date or no expiration date are List A documents that should not be reverified.

For those issued temporary I-551’s these documents are acceptable for Form I-9 as follows:

    1. If an employee presents an expired Permanent Resident Card along with a Form I-797, Notice of Action, that indicates that the card is valid for an additional year, this combination is acceptable List C evidence of employment authorization for one year as indicated on Form I-797. At the end of the one-year period, you must reverify.
    2. If an employee presents a foreign passport with either a temporary I-551 stamp or I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV), you must reverify when the stamp or MRIV expires, or one year after the issuance date if the stamp or MRIV does not contain an expiration date.
    3. If an employee presents the arrival portion of Form I-94/I-94A containing an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual, this combination of documents is an acceptable List A receipt for the Permanent Resident Card. The employee must present his or her Permanent Resident Card to the employer no later than when the stamp expires, or one year after the issuance date of the Form I-94 if the stamp does not contain an expiration date.

There are alot of situations that require you as an employer to pay attention to depending on the status of the individual you are attempting to hire. For a complete explanation of what is needed I suggest you download the Handbook for Employers provided by the Department of Homeland Security. But in the meantime I hope this helped answer some questions you may have had.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Allison July 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Do you reverify expired foreign passports?

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Michael Haberman July 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Allison, to answer your question I went to a specialist in immigration. She told me the following:

For I9 purposes, the controlling document which notates work authorization is the I94 card. It is issued upon entry into the U.S. and is kept with the passport. The I94 card notates the specific non-immigrant status (i.e. L1, H1, F1, etc.), the entry date and most importantly the expiration date which needs to be calendared for I9 renewal/update. The passport serves as the ID portion of the I9 and is recorded in Column A. It has to be valid at time of I9 completion, but the expiration date does not need to be updated thereafter (similar to DL exp).

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